Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Angel Food Cake (sans Gluten)

Simple. Light. Sweet.
I remember when I was younger thinking it was impossible to make without a box mix. Now I wonder what magic they use to turn the few precious ingredients it takes to make an Angle Cake, into a box mix!
I urge anyone with 10 eggs and a mixer to avoid the box, and experience the pleasure of making this simple cake. Perfect for summer with how light it is, but dare I say even better in winter, when the cold, dark days have us dreaming of sunshine and fresh berries??

Angel Cake (no gluten necessary)
serves 8-12
If you don't have gluten free flours on hand, you can easily make this by just swapping the GF flours for one cup of all-purpose flour!
10 egg whites, preferrably room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. brown rice flour
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar, separated

Preheat oven to 350F. Have your Angel Cake pan ready, and by this I mean just sitting on the counter ready to fill with your batter. Do NOT grease it! The cake has to be able to "climb" the walls. If you spray it, it will just slip down into a sad, dense heap of sugary mess.

Separate your whites from the yolks (don't throw away the yolks! This is a perfect opportunity to make a batch of ice cream...)

Combine the potato starch, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, salt and a 1/2 cup of the sugar. Sift them 3 times. This will ensure that your flour mixture is really light and fluffy!

In the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a big bowl if you plan to use a hand mixer) combine your whites and vanilla. Using a whisk attachment beat the whites on medium until frothy. Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and turn the mixer up a notch. Beat until the whites start to form soft peaks and begin looking shiny. Slowly sprinkle in the remaining 1 cup of sugar while the whites are beating. Beat on medium-high until stiff peaks have formed.

Gently fold a third of your flour mixture into the egg white mixture. Once it is pretty much incorporated, mix in another third and finally the last of it. You want to be as gentle as you can using a folding motion instead of a mixing motion so you don't deflate the air you have just worked into your whites. Pour your batter into your cake pan and smooth the top.

Bake in the center of your oven for 18 minutes, then rotate, and bake for 17 more.

Once you remove the cake from the oven it will need to cool upside down so it doesn't sink in on itself. My angel pan has feet so I can do this really easily. If yours doesn't, I think most people rest the center hole on a glass bottle (i.e. soda bottle.)

Once your cake is completely cool, just use a thin off set spatula or a butter knife to loosen it from the sides of the pan. It should come out pretty easily. The serving options are endless! Keep it light with fresh whipped cream and berries, or go my favorite route and make it dirty with coffee ice cream and rum spiked hot fudge sauce!